1. #1
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    Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ

    Question Can someone explain this to me?

    (my question is at the bottom)

    Inhouse San Francisco Brawl Prompts Fallout

    San Francisco's fire chief has recommended that a firefighter be terminated for allegedly beating up a colleague inside a fire station and suggested a 90-day suspension for the now-retired supervisor accused of covering up the attack, documents show.

    The recommendations are fallout from a May 20 incident at Station No. 32 in the Outer Mission that took nearly a month to come to light, authorities say. Paramedics at the station first reported only that the firefighter who suffered the worst injuries had fallen down stairs, but discrepancies in the story led to an investigation the following month.

    Two paramedics and another firefighter at the station face suspensions of up to 10 days for failing to report the incident, which is still under investigation.

    Chief Joanne Hayes-White recommended that the Fire Commission dismiss Bela Carreira, a five-year veteran who allegedly attacked rookie firefighter Joel Soto, fracturing his cheekbone and ripping a gash in his face. Carreira broke his hand in the incident.

    Carreira is accused of several rule violations, including fighting on the job, filing a false report and committing acts detrimental to the department. He is to be formally charged at the Fire Commission's meeting Thursday.

    Soto is not accused of any violations.

    John Hanley, head of the firefighters union, said that Carreira would fight to keep his job and that a union attorney would represent him. "He's been a brave and loyal firefighter," Carreira said. "We want to make sure his full record comes out on this issue. We want to make sure he gets a fair shake.''

    Acting Lt. Thomas Masterson was in charge of the station the night of the fight. He retired June 29, but still faces misconduct charges for allegedly failing to report the incident to department officials. The charges remain pending until Masterson cashes his first retirement check, department officials said.

    Paramedics at the station told hospital officials that Soto had suffered his injuries in a fall down stairs. A battalion chief who reviewed the incident raised questions, and the matter came to Hayes-White's attention June 15, she said.

    In a June 23 letter to the Fire Commission, Hayes-White said Masterson "not only neglected to report the incident but willfully and intentionally provided misleading and inaccurate information to a superior officer and falsified official documents including reports signed under penalty of perjury.''

    Masterson was not charged with filing a false report, however, and Hayes-White recommended only the three-month suspension.

    Kevin Smith, a critic of Hayes-White who heads the San Francisco Black Firefighters Association, said Masterson is in effect being rewarded by being able to retire after 28 years without discipline.

    "It shows the disparity of discipline that is being meted out in the Fire Department,'' Smith said. "The problem in this Fire Department is that the chief does not hold accountable the people who are supposed to enforce the rules.''

    Hayes-White she was "disappointed and disheartened'' by the incident but said she saw no disparity in the discipline.

    A 90-day suspension is a "very serious" penalty, she said.

    "Extremely poor judgment was used by all six (firefighters) who did not come forward with what truly happened,'' she said.

    In addition to facing department charges, the lead paramedic at the station is being investigated by state authorities for failing to detail the incident as required by law, Hayes-White said.


    I'm trying to figure how you suspend someone for 90 days when they are retired? What actual affect would this have on someone? Can someone explain?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2005


    Maybe he'll lose three months of his retirement pay???
    -------;- "Aaaaa!!"
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  3. #3
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    Oct 2005


    You'd need to know a lot more details of SF's pension system to have a real answer.


    Pension System is a 3/20 -- 3% of pay per month x years of service...minimum of 20 years.

    28 years x 3% = 84%

    But what's the "pay" -- some systems use base pay; others use both base & overtime and other earnings by establishing the monthly pay rate as the average pay over sometime, let's say the last 2 years divided by 24.

    The Board rather than accepting a retirement effective X date, effectively suspends the soon-to-be-retiree without pay for 3 months, at the end of which the retirment is effective.

    All of a sudden, you're whacked 12.5% (No pay for 3 of the 24 months) from your earnings the retirement calculations are based on. Over the time you're retired, that ends up being one hell of a hit on overall retirement benefits.

    To emphasize, I do not know the SF system and what I know of California it's probably not the way their system works...but I've seen similiar schemes in other public safety pension plans I've seen.

  4. #4
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    ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!


    Maybe I'm being over analytical, but it appears all parties involved conspired to keep the lid on this, so why aren't ALL, including Soto being charged for their parts?
    I realize Soto was the recipient, but he had every opportunity to set the record straight and didn't.
    You know; this sounds like deja vu all over again.
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  5. #5
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    Apr 2006
    Somewhere cold in MI


    Does anybody know how this fire started?'

    PS: One side at a time please.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2002


    Bones....Even though the article said he retired, he may have only filed his papers June 29 and when word of this "activity" got out the city may have held up on putting the papers through to the state, based on potential criminal activity.. If that's the case even though he put the paperwork in he's still actually an employee. As was mentioned it depends on the SFFD/Calif pension system as to what they can do and how they can do it.
    I'm sure some kind of story about how and who started it will come out in the media...as long as the brass upstairs approve it's content and there's a scapegoat to keep their trumpets clean.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2005


    there's a scapegoat to keep their trumpets clean.

    There's just something about nefarious activities along with the image of trumpets and goats that's just plain wrong

    But I think that Chief was down in Arizona.

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